The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the man who shot and killed a retired Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday.
Retired Sgt. Felix Cosme, 63, of Dacula, was fatally shot while reaching for his own weapon in an attempt to stop a robbery at the auto parts store where he worked, AJC.com previously reported. He was dead when officers arrived about 7:45 p.m. at the O’Reilly Auto Parts on Hamilton Mill Road near Buford.
“Sergeant Cosme died a hero’s death as he attempted to protect himself and a female co-worker,” the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday in a Facebook post.
Investigators said the suspect parked his car in the store’s parking lot and watched as a female employee helped a customer outside the store. The suspect then followed the woman inside, where he told her to open the cash register.
Cosme overheard the commotion and walked in from a back room, while armed with his own weapon, police said. Once the suspect saw Cosme’s weapon, he shot and killed the retired deputy before fleeing the scene.
Cosme came to the sheriff’s office in April 2006, according to the agency. He served in jail administration until his retirement in November 2015. His family provided Channel 2 Action News with a statement on Friday that thanked law enforcement and said, in part:
“... (Cosme) was callously gunned gown on Wednesday as he attempted to protect himself and another employee during a robbery attempt at the auto shop where they worked. We are deeply saddened and heartbroken over this senseless shooting.”
The statement also thanked Crowell Brothers Funeral Home for providing funeral services for free.
The suspect was last seen driving toward I-85, according to police. Investigators are still working to get a good description of him.
“We do have that female employee, who we hope is a good witness,” Pihera told Channel 2 Action News from the scene. “Next we will see if they had surveillance cameras and if they were working properly to give us a good description.”
The FBI’s reward is separate from the $2,000 tipster reward offered by Crime Stoppers Atlanta.
Anyone with information is asked to come forward, and Crime Stoppers Atlanta can be contacted by calling 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.